Life Enjoyed from Natural Gas Benefits
It’s OK to use but not produce…..
at least Not In My Back Yard.
One argument I read a lot from anti-drillers — especially in the relatively anonymous online comments sections of some upstate New York newspapers — is the green-eyed accusation of “greed” against both landowners and the natural gas industry.
This bothers me, for a number of reasons. For starters, I don’t think wanting to be able to pay your bills is greedy (and, let’s face it, that’s what most landowners are going to wind up doing if they ever manage to make any money from their shale gas resource). Furthermore, I don’t think wanting to have a job is greedy (and, at the rate we’re going, some of the New Yorkers we’re talking about employing here are probably right now still in junior high school). Lastly, I happen to know firsthand that getting natural gas out of the ground and available to the consumer requires a hell of a lot of effort — across an unbelievable variety of areas of expertise. I don’t think there’s anything greedy about the willingness to risk one’s money, or sell one’s time, getting it done.
Truly, these things are not about greed. Do these so-called environmentalists drive around the upstate countryside, looking at the rows of ripening corn, and mutter cynically to themselves, “Goddamn greedy farmer”? Or do they curse themselves as greedy, every time they tear open their monthly retirement account statements — which are almost invariably touched, directly or indirectly, by investments in the fossil fuel business?
Let me just turn this around, and ask about greed in a way that nobody ever seems to want to contemplate: Is it greedy to enjoy a lifestyle that includes all the benefits of natural gas (and other fossil fuels), but, at the same time, to loudly protest ever being asked to tolerate even just some of the acknowledged impacts required for its production?
(Or is that just childish?)
|Shale makes for a big rubble pile, and shale gas makes for a big argument — no doubt about it.
How can there be such a wide variety of very different truths for different people on the shale gas issue? I think — through a process of contagious persuasiveness and misinformation, some of it even appearing as regular journalism — otherwise intelligent, concerned, and well-meaning people have become, essentially, very afraid. I don’t mean to be disrespectful or dismissive in saying this.
The fear that is making the rounds these days has quickly converted some New Yorkers into die-hard opponents of the whole concept of shale gas. Essentially, these folks advocate turning our backs to development of this resource. (It’s okay to use, but not to produce — at least not from around these parts. That seems to be the logical end result of their line of thinking.)
The fear also quickly becomes the lens through which opponents take in all further information, and the way in which they spread the word. And so it goes, like a virus.
I don’t know how to turn this virus around, but I do know it’s not what I believe. I believe that we in New York have a choice between figuring out how to make shale gas work for all of us in a careful, sensible, and regulated way — or letting fear, ignorance, and political turmoil shackle our future. So long as we use natural gas, I think it’s a much more responsible approach to get it out of the ground, safely, right here in New York State, where we can manage our own impacts, and where our own citizens stand to benefit — rather than just idly pawning off all the risks, and all the rewards, on the people of Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Texas, or Canada.
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Residential, LAND, Commercial, Investment, Multi-Family Real Estate in beautiful Upstate New York and the Catskill’s Region.